Time to Vote! Do You Have to Give Employees Time Off?

Image of glass doors in front of building. Sign on door says, "polling station"

As Tuesday, November 8th quickly approaches, your employee’s might be asking for some time off or adjusted work hours in order to cast their votes. These are the guidelines on voting day protocol according to each state.

There is no federal law that entitles workers to time off for voting, however, many states do offer voting leave to their employees.

To help you prepare, this is the basic information on voting leave laws across the country.

No Leave Required

These states generally do not require that private sector employees be given time off to vote:

  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington

Unpaid Time Off

These states generally require that private sector employees be given unpaid time off to vote:

  • Alabama: 1 hour
  • Arkansas: Employers must schedule work hours on election day so that employees have an opportunity to vote.
  • Georgia: 2 hours
  • Kentucky: 4 hours
  • Massachusetts: Certain employers must provide leave during the first 2 hours after the opening of the polls.
  • Wisconsin: 3 hours

Paid Time Off

These states generally require that private sector employees be given paid time off to vote:

  • Alaska: as much working time as will enable voting.
  • Arizona: 3 hours
  • California: 2 hours
  • Colorado: 2 hours
  • Hawaii: 2 hours
  • Iowa: 3 hours
  • Illinois: 2 hours
  • Kansas: 2 hours
  • Maryland: 2 hours
  • Minnesota: The time necessary to appear at the employee’s polling place, cast a ballot, and return to work on the day of an election.
  • Missouri: 3 hours
  • Nebraska: 2 hours
  • New Mexico: 2 hours
  • Nevada: Leave for a sufficient time to vote.
  • New York: 2 hours
  • Ohio: Employees must have a reasonable amount of time to vote (per the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the failure to pay salaried employees for voting leave may constitute a violation of law).
  • Oklahoma: 2 hours
  • South Dakota: 2 hours
  • Tennessee: 3 hours
  • Texas: Requires that employees be allowed to take paid time off for voting.
  • Utah: 2 hours
  • West Virginia: 3 hours
  • Wyoming: 1 hour

To review other state laws, visit the State Laws section, click on the appropriate state, and choose your topic of interest from the left-hand navigation menu.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *